- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 2, 2014

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) - A century-old farmhouse has been demolished near Pendleton to allow workers to continue cleaning up almost 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled in an accident last month.

Members of the family that owns the Hill Ranches looked on Tuesday as two excavators tore down the house, the East Oregonian (https://bit.ly/1ecO1nD) reported.

Fritz Hill reared two sons there and planted some of the trees surrounding the place. He appeared shaken and didn’t want to comment.

“This has been wearing on everyone, and today’s the day,” said his wife, Karen.

The house was built in 1905 and most recently had been used by a ranch hand’s family.

A semitrailer truck crashed March 1 near Pendleton, and its trailer hurtled into a ditch, spilling its load of fuel. Since then, workers have been digging contaminated soil from a growing gully. About 20,000 cubic yards have been removed.

“How much more will come out, I’m not sure anybody knows,” said Greg Svelund, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Quality.

He said removing 100 percent of contamination rarely happens in such cleanups.

The costs are likely to run to a couple of million dollars, he said, not including compensation to the landowner by Maverik, the convenience store company that owned the fuel.

___

Information from: East Oregonian, https://www.eastoregonian.info

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